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Short term memory loss / blackout?


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My husband is an episodic cluster migraine sufferer. He has recently started a cycle of clusters after a two year hiatus. I am very proud of the way he handles his attacks. He just takes them as they come, and does not worry about the next attack until it occurs. He remains happy and carefree despite what he goes through everyday.

These attacks have me a bit worried. He seems to have some short term memory loss and he seems to blackout or fall asleep during the peak of the attacks.  I check him often. He breaths normally and pulse a bit faster because of the attack.  I usually just watch him until he wakes on his own which is usually right after the pain subsides. This does not happen every attack, just the most intense. Has anyone else had this experience?

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It's believed that the taurine in energy drinks in addition to the caffeine makes them particularly effective. They are very, very commonly used by people to abort or diminish CH attacks. Maybe he should just try drinking a RedBull or Monster or "energy shot" such as 5-Hour Energy at the start of his next attack and see what happens.

Many, many people have showed up here saying that oxygen doesn't work for them, and virtually all of them -- one just in the past week -- have found that it will work if used properly.   The most recent person went from thinking that oxygen didn't work at all to aborting attacks within five minutes.  That's a very nice change. Please read this file, including the "addendum": http://clusterbusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/OXYGEN-12-2012.pdf

Has he tried the vitamin D3 approach, which has made a big difference for lots and lots of people?  http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cb/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1314134804

More to the point because of where you are (at the ClusterBusters website), has he tried what people here do, which is called "busting"?  http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cb/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1290127865

Like you, I sat with a loved one night after night who endured attacks with no treatment and was not taking any preventives. When my loved one started with energy drinks, got oxygen to work, did the D3 regimen, and busted, everything changed.  While she was enduring those attacks night after night, she had many scary symptoms similar to your husband's -- violent vomiting and severe light sensitivity in her case, among other things.  She was also remarkably brave during the attacks and remarkably upbeat the rest of the time -- but there was no reason for her to be suffering like that in the first place.  I would urge you and your husband to keep trying. (Many people with CH have a hard time "keeping trying," because they have had their hopes up and then experienced severe disappointment.  But I'm urging you to help him get past that if it's an issue and keep trying.)

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I am being sent for memory testing in March.

I have BRUTAL short term memory loss

Long term excellent.

Like if I go  1km to a store form my house,when I arrive I forget why I even left the house. But ironically I remember this happening 2 weeks later.

Nuerosurgoen ordered testing.

They say CH has no long term affects. I think thats BS.

My neurosurgeon says its from ongoing trauma to my brain.

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I've been contemplating posting a similar thread recently.  I've noticed over the last 12 years or so that my short term memory has gotten much worse.  It's definitely worse around my cycles.  I talked to my neurologist about it about 10 years ago.  She had no clue.  With the last cycle that ended recently I noticed the short term memory loss fairly significantly.  This started LONG before starting the fungus so I'm 100% confident it has nothing to do with the fungus but is CH or other related.

Started seeing a new neurologist at the VA last week.  He said my MRI was clear accept he said he could tell that I was a long term headache sufferer.  (Never heard that from anyone before just from an MRI).  I asked him how he could tell.  He said the arteries in my brain have thickening in the walls, that show up very clearly in the MRI images.  I asked about memory loss and he said it's common to have short term memory loss with thickening of the arteries in the brain.  He didn't elaborate any more, but I'm seeing him again in 2 weeks.  I plan on asking a gazzilion questions about memory loss at that time.  (if I remember. ha ha ha...)



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Hi 4my,

I sure hope you can get the 'ol hubby to seriously look into everything CHfather pointed to, as that was a most excellent individualized info packet he supplied regarding stuff that lotsa CH'ers have found to be more effective than what the doctors tend to prescribe.

At the risk of earning myself a vigorous and well deserved wrist slapping, I'll post the same observation here that I did to another recent thread about short term memory.

I feel my memory is not great, but it is OK, and that is a significant improvement from the genuinely bad memory I was experiencing before I was on the memory/cognitive supplement phosphatidyl serine.

There are various brands, but I know this one works for me - 3 pills a day, one with each meal:


After finishing one 120 pill bottle at the 3 per day dosage, I figure anyone trying it could assess whether they are getting a benefit.

Regarding the blackouts, I do recall Ron, one of the members here, speaking of how his CH'er son Michael, who has a history of especially severe CH, was known to black out at a certain point during a major attack.

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This thread has me wondering about my short term memory also. I like Jeff see a significant lapse or failure with my short term memory especially during cycle, so bad sometimes I can't remember talking to a customer at work from 5 to 10 minutes prior. I saw the neurologist when I was diagnosed with CH and had the initial MRI but at that time in09 I wasn't a long term sufferer. That hardening of the arteries has me thinking I should do some follow up work done see where I,m at after 4 years in.

Jeff I will be interested in seeing either a new thread or a followup if you do see your new Neuro doctor.


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I forget if I have short term memory loss  :D just kidding.... yes around my cycles I do get some short term loss. Like my wife will tell me something and then the next day she will say are you going to get ready to go - I say where and she says dont you remember x y and z.... I thought it was just a husband wife thing lol, but during cycles my kids and people at work tell me stuff I am forgetting too. I have NOT ever blacked out during one though.

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Used the chair I'm always sitting on, doing everything, to show my daughter some back exercises, going back to "my place", sat down and landed on my ass on the floor!! Has anybody heard of pulling the chair underneath one's own ass!!!   Ha-Ha  We all couldn't stop laughing!!

I think it was short term memory loss!!!

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I remember seeing something on the board here about loss of grey brain matter as a result of chronic pain. It was in the form of an "abstract" article.

I dont know if that connects with memory loss, hopefully someone can elaborate.


From what I get out of this, patients suffering chronic pain tend to have grey mater decrease, but if the chronic pain subsides, the matter has a tendency to come back...

This is just from a quick search, I have a hard time understanding the medical jargon. But I am sure there is a Jeopardy contestant that cant figure it out ;)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I went Friday to same hospital I had DBS.

They spent 8 hours doing memory testing on me because of my poor short term memory loss. My nuerosurgeon felt it was worth exploring.

did 1.5 hour medical assesment/history

Spent rest of day testing me verbally, written, and by drawings etc. My memory sucks bad.

I am afraid of 2 things. One they tell me I am 40 and its an age thing. Or two they diagnose me with something else to my resume of sh*t wrong with me.

I fear the latter.

I dont want to forget who I am, my wife and son. That I wont be able to cope with.

I get my results in end of April for a meeting.

Maybe this will justify me forgetting so much

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Sign me up for extremely bad short term memory loss.

I have been getting a conscious sedative with nerve blocks the last year or two. My pain doc says "no way" it is due to the Versed.

It is VERY unsettling. It is getting worse and worse. No question about it. I can't even joke about this subject :(


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You nailed it Jeff.

The plants thing just to me an hour ago. Too DANG funny, in a not too funny kinda way :)

the more I think about it: long term memory has blanks in it too.

I do remember enough to get on this board every chance I get. Misery does indeed love company 8-)


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